February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 9, NUMBER 7, JULY 1996
GENERAL INTEREST & COMMENTARY
"The Ozone Layer:
The Road Not Taken," M. Prather, (Dept. Earth System Sci., Univ.
California, Irvine CA 92717), P. Midgley et al., Nature,
381(6583), 551-554, June 13, 1996.
Compares the path we are now followingthe amended Montreal Protocolwith
likely CFC growth and ozone depletion had the CFC threat to the ozone layer not
been identified in 1974. If 11 years of scientific publications on the
stratospheric effects of chlorine from CFCs had not followed, the discoverers of
the Antarctic ozone hole in 1985 almost certainly would not have pointed to CFCs
as the cause, and ozone depletion would be dramatically worse than it is today.
If CFCs had followed free-market growth until 2002, the Antarctic ozone hole
would be a permanent feature throughout the twentieth century, instead of
probably disappearing by 2050. The greenhouse gas impacts of CFCs would also be
Uncertainty in Global Climate Change Science and Policy: Boundary-Ordering
Devices and Authority," S. Shackley (Lancaster Univ., U.K.), B. Wynne, Sci.,
Technol. & Human Values, 21(3), 275-302, Summer 1996.
In policy contexts, many scientists are compelled to talk about uncertainty,
but do not wish to imply that uncertainty is a serious challenge to the
authority of scientific knowledge or to its substantial use in policy making.
This paper discusses the complicated nature of the relationship between
scientific uncertainty and the perceived authority of science. It proposes
techniques for treating uncertainty in a manner that minimizes the problem,
giving examples related to climate change.
"What Is a
Dangerous Climate Change?" M.L. Parry (Jackson Environ. Inst., Univ.
College, 5 Gower St., London WC1E 6HA, U.K.), T.R. Carter, M. Hulme, Global
Environ. Change, 6(1), 1-6, Apr. 1996.
A goal of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change is to prevent
'dangerous' climate change that would present a significant threat to
ecosystems, food production and economic development. This paper defines what is
implied by a dangerous climate change in terms of (a) thresholds of weather or
climate events, and (b) critical levels of climate change. It provides a
scientific basis by which policy makers can decide what level of climate change
threat is worth avoiding.
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